CHILDREN and parents are packing up their bikes plus plenty of energy-giving Jelly Babies and flapjack for a mini charity triathlon inspired by seven-year-old Will Taylor this weekend.

Will, who attends St Patrick's CE School in Endmoor, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2014. The rare genetic condition causes muscle weakness, and Will and his sister Beth, aged nine, have set up this Sunday's challenge to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK, to help find a cure.

The siblings will be joined by 30-plus young friends and their parents on the Mini Miles for Muscles Family Triathlon Challenge - setting off from Casterton School at 10.30am.

Meanwhile, the Taylor family, who live near Crooklands, are also staging a fund-raising Coast to Coast Triathlon this September - from Whitby to Windermere and Walney Island. Thirty-five solo riders and teams have signed up, dad Sam told the Gazette, and 25 of them gathered to train in hot sunshine last weekend.

Saturday's 60-mile bike ride from Crooklands took in Dentdale, Sedbergh, Windermere and the Lyth Valley. Participants met up again at Fell Foot Park, Newby Bridge, at 8am on Sunday for a 1,000-metre lake swim, then embarked on a 14-mile run from Gummers How, where Will cheered them on and handed out flapjack and Jelly Babies as an energy boost.

Back in 2015, Will's supporters cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Sam told the Gazette how grateful the family were for the generous support given. He said none of the events could take place without sponsorship from local companies including Furness Building Society, Sustaburn, Lingwood Park, Poole Townsend and Stripy Horse Day Nursery, of Preston Patrick, which is attended by Will and Beth's two-year-old brother, Barney.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy affects around 2,500 boys and young men in the UK. The muscle-wasting condition is caused by lack of a protein called dystrophin, which means muscle fibres break down, and boys will usually need a wheelchair by their early teens.

Sam described Will as "really strong" at present, and said it was important for the family to record his achievements for the future with photos and videos.

The seven-year-old keeps as active as possible and is "super excited" about doing Sunday's 100-metre swim, 4km bike ride and 1km run.

Taking part will be pupils from schools at Endmoor, Crosscrake, Kirkby Lonsdale and and Arkholme, as well as Sedgwick Beavers and Cubs, Starfish Swim School and Rigney Bank Ballet School, Milnthorpe.

The Coast to Coast Triathlon on September 1 and 2, meanwhile, is to consist of a 115-mile bike ride from Whitby to Windermere; a one-mile swim across the lake; and a 26-mile run to Walney Island.

So far £2,865.72 has been raised towards a £5,000 target. If you would like to donate, visit To give £5 by SMS, text CTRI48 £5 to 70070. And to follow the challenge, visit